Augustana College
Sioux Falls, SD

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Stanley L. Olsen
Chair of Moral Values

Program for current year

2009-2010: Fall 2009 Spring 2010


September 16  Program #1

    "God, Reason, and the Challenge of Atheism"
    Dr. David O'Hara
    Assistant Professor, Religion/Philosophy/Classics Department

    Audio of David O'Hara presentation (10 Mb)

    What do atheists believe? About the origin of religious beliefs and practices? About the credibility of Christian theism's central claims? About the effects of religious beliefs upon morality? Have atheists writing today made their case? Are there considerations which they overlook or weigh differently that point in the other direction? How does religion fare at the bar of reason? Are its claims defensible? Can a strong case for believing in God be made in our own day? And what about the connection between morality and religion? How should we understand that?

    Booklist recommended by David O'Hara -- the Augustana Bookstore will have a few copies by mid-August.

    David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusion (Yale University Press, 2009). ISBN 978-0-300-11190-3
    Robert B. Stewart, ed., The Future of Atheism (Fortress Press, 2008). ISBN 978-0-8006-6314-8
    Keith Ward, Is Religion Dangerous? (Eerdman's Publishing, 2006). ISBN 978-0-8028-4508-5
    Merold Westphal, Suspicion and Faith (Fordham University Press. 1998) ISBN 0-8232-1876-7
    N.T. Wright, Simply Christian (Harper-Collins, 2006). ISBN 978-0-0605-0715-2
    Santiago Zabala, ed., The Future of Religion (Columbia University Press, 2005). ISBN 978-0-231-13495-8

October 21  Program #2

    "Thoughts of a Lutheran Ethicist"
    Dr. Laurie Jungling
    Assistant Professor, Religion/Philosophy/Classics Department

    Audio of Laurie Jungling presentation (23 Mb)

    What does religion have to do with ethics? Are there moral absolutes? Why do people who pray to the same God and read the same Bible come to such very different conclusions on moral questions and public policy issues? Is there anything distinctive in the way Lutherans do ethics and approach moral issues? What kind of help can churches and pastors give? When you think about moral issues, how do you proceed? What things inform your decision-making? What considerations have priority as you wrestle with issues like abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, capital punishment, prayer in schools? What role does Scripture play in your deliberating? Prayer? The Golden Rule? The principle that we should always do what is best for the most? Or always follow universalizable rules? Or do what love requires? What authors or books have you found most helpful as a Christian ethicist?

    Booklist recommended by Laurie Jungling -- the Augustana Bookstore will have a few copies in advance.

    Martin Luther's FREEDOM OF A CHRISTIAN
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer's ETHICS (from which she recommended the section entitled "The Structure of Responsible Life").

November 18  Program #3

    "Is Evolution Compatible with the Christian World View? A Historical Perspective"
    Dr. Michael Wanous
    Associate Professor, Biology Department

    Audio of Mike Wanous presentation (20Mb)

    Slides of Mike Wanous presentation (pdf, 5 Mb)

    Are religion and science opposed, the one relying on reason and empirical investigation, the other trusting to faith and revelation? What is the relation between the Book of Scripture and the Book of Nature? How did the church fathers view it? St. Augustine? Luther? Galileo, Bacon, more modern thinkers? Where should a Christian come down on the theory of evolution? Do you see a conflict between Christian tenets and evolutionary theory? How do you handle the controversy in the classroom?

    Recommended reading list for this presentation:

    Collins, Francis S. 2006. The Language of God. A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Free Press.
    Collins, Francis S. 2003. Can an evangelical believe in evolution? International J. of Frontier Missions 20:4:109-112.
    Falk, Darrel. 2004. Coming to Peace with Science. IVP Academic.
    Galilei, Galileo. 1615. Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany.
    Matthews, S. 2008. Theology and Science in the Thought of Francis Bacon. Ashgate, U.K.
    Wanous, M.K. 2007. Evolution and Faith: Complementary or Conflicting Visions? Proc. SD Academy of Science 86:11.

Spring 2009

Cultures in Turmoil: Bridging the Gap in South Dakota

February 17 WEDNESDAY

    "Exploring Native American Culture: A Closer Look at the First Dakotans"
    William Swart
    , Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair,
    Sociology Department, Augustana College


    Audio of Bill Swart presentation (50 Mb)


    "Cultures, Values, and Beliefs Afffecting Native American Healt"
    Karla Abbo
    tt, MA, RN, Instructor,
    Nursing Department, Augustana College

    Slides of Karla Abbott presentation (pdf, 4 MB)


    "A Current View from Sinte Gleska"
    Lionel Bordeaux
    , President
    Sinte Gleske University

    Audio of Lionel Bordeaux presentation (26 Mb)

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